In an age where we live our days according to a calendar on our phones and set digital reminders before writing a to-do list, it’s easy to avoid the paper and pen all together. But there are many more benefits to writing notes and jotting down ideas than you may have imagined. For starters, when you write things down, you let your thoughts flow—and then you can better organize them. Still not convinced? Check out these five clear ways that writing things down supports your mental health and your path towards mindfulness.
Strengthen your memory
Researchers found that student who took notes by hand retained more information than those who typed or maintained notes digitally. It’s true—if you physically write something down, you’re more likely to remember it. So, even if you left your grocery list at home, you’ll have a better chance of remember what you need just because you wrote it down.
Free up space
When you write down a task—something you just have to remember to do—you actually allow your brain to relax. Think of it this way: now that you’ve made a physical note of a thought, your brain can let it go, knowing that in case you forget, the memo is still there in a tangible form.
Many creative professionals do their best brainstorming with a simple blank page and pen. When you start to brainstorm on paper, your ideas aren’t restricted to the format of a page on your computer screen. You can draw branching off concepts, explore new ideas, and let your creativity flow.
Journal your way to calm
Keeping a journal is a healthy and effective way to explore your own mind. A journal can take any form you need it to. Think: a series of running lists, a handful of observations, reflective notes on real life events, or an expression of your dreams and aspirations. Whatever you choose to keep in your journal is just for you. And you may learn a whole lot about yourself over time. Now that’s something worth writing about.
Refocus your attention
Leave yourself handwritten reminders to keep you focused on your goals. These can take the form of sticky notes around your work area, to-do lists, or even a big poster on your wall. Frame your goals in handwritten notes and focus your energy on accomplishing them. When you intentionally write down a goal, you’re more likely to remember it, stay focused on it, and achieve it.
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